November 1990

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About this Issue

Note from the Editors

The second installment of A. G. Hilbert's series on the Pre-emption Line begins this issue. Mr. Hilbert is historian for the Town of Elmira and for the Chemung County Historical Society. He has been collecting material for many years on the history of this famous line that runs through the center of New York State. Now we can all read the stories he has collected and the history he has reconstructed about the Pre-emption Line.

Mrs. Louise V. Stillman tells of the Montour Falls Memorial Library and how it grew from a literary society started in 1872. The library building was designed by the firm of Gillespie and Coryell as one of a set of three public-use buildings. It served as a bank building until about 1900, when it was remodeled for use as a library. Over the years the library has been kept alive by the efforts of many dedicated women. Mrs. Stillman is vice president of the board of ten women who look after the Library now. Mrs. Stillman is the person who was primarily responsible for placing 24 nineteenth-century buildings in Montour Falls in an Historic District and in the National Register of Historic Places.

We list books you can order from area historical societies for holiday gifts to friends and yourself.

We continue Peter Henderson's calendar of the things for gardeners to get done with November. Peter Henderson was born in Scotland and worked as a gardener apprentice on estates there. He came to this country, established himself as a market gardener, and later founded the famous seed company that carries his name.

Ed Harris remembers his Aunt Laura Florance and all the work she did everyday with her husband and mother-in-law on their farm that was on the Pre-Emption Road not far from Ed's own farm home on that same road close to Dundee.

This issue concludes with another chapter from Caroline Kirkland's A New Home. This time we begin a story of a short excursion in a farm wagon that Mrs. Kirkland and her husband and children enjoyed in frontier Michigan. One of the Kirklands' children, spoken of in this chapter, was Joseph, who became a writer and is credited with persuading Hamlin Garland to become a novelist.

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